The intellectual scope of the department is intended to move beyond the traditional regional (area studies) to take into account the fusion and fluidity of identities, cultures as well as knowledge production in the region and beyond. CHSS Middle Eastern Studies Department will transcend the geographical boundaries of MENA, Iran and Turkey, in order to cover the peoples of these areas regardless of where they are living, focusing on their interrelations and interconnectivity with the wider world. The department’s interests will include the cultures, religions, geo-politics and the built environments of the MENA, its surrounding influences and interactive forces within and outside it, as well as the study of native and transient populations both in the historical and contemporary contexts.
The Department aims to draw from the best scholarship produced internationally and at the same time add to it through indigenous knowledge production and research, as well as building capacity in terms of educators and researchers in the field. The department will follow best practices in postgraduate studies and research, building a distinct reputation that will benefit from its special geo-political location in the Middle East in general, and in the Gulf and Qatar in particular. The understanding and development of the Gulf-Qatari local perspectives will balance the emphasis on similarities that are part of the Arab regional experience with an appreciation of the social, political and demographic differences that characterize them. Furthermore, the department and its MA programs will encourage the examination of the international and indigenous scholarship production and how they enhance the understanding of Arab and Qatari development contexts for the study of women’s role in society, and the impact of different digital technologies on communication, media, culture and human development needs in the region.
The Middle Eastern Studies Department currently offers two new MA programs with a projection to expand and offer other programs within a three-year time horizon. The two MA programs are as follows:
The department will aim to foster collaboration with existing educational establishments in Qatar to draw on existing knowledge and expertise. Collaboration will vary from academic and research activities to foster learning for both students and educators and promote exchange of experiences among different stakeholders.